Skip to main content

Senior activist alleges, nearly 60% of South Gujarat tribals fail to get land under Forest Rights Act

Manjula Pradeep at the rally venue
By Our Representative
In an important revelation, nearly 60 per cent of the tribals of the Chhotaudepur region in South Gujarat have still not been given land titles they are entitled to under the Forest Rights Act (FRA), 2006. A representation by Manjula Pradeep of Ahmedabad-based NGO Navsarjan Trust, which organized a powerful rally in Chhotaudepur town to press for tribal rights, has said, out 13,381 applications for land under FRA, only 5,498 applications have so far been approved, while the rest "remain to to be cleared."
The representation, handed over to the district collector, Chhotaudepur, demanded "early clearance of the pending applications", insisting, "A high-powered investigation in the poor rate of implementation of the FRA should be ordered to find out the reasons behind the delay." The NGO's revelation comes close on the heels of a Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India report, which said that in Gujarat just about 40 per cent of the applications are pending, and this is worse than 13 other Indian states.
The document shows, as of December-end 2014, Gujarat, an early starter, was able to dispose of just 39.97 per cent, or 75,974 claims, out of 1,90,051 tribals who had applied for land titles. This is against the national average of a whopping 82.60 per cent (17,13,519 out of 39,59,0190). The document, titled “Status report on implementation of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 for the period ending December 31, 2014”, was sent to the Cabinet Secretariat on January 16, 2015.
Navsarjan, in its representation, regretted that despite the fact that many tribals in four talukas of the district -- Chhotaudepur, Kavant, Jetpur-Pavi and Sankheda -- are now farmers, they have no irrigation facilities. "The Narmada Dam is not very far from Chhotaudepur, yet there are no canals to serve the tribal areas. Instead, waters are flowing far away to Kutch, Saurashtra and North Gujarat. Hence, the tribal farmers have to depend heavily on rains for irrigating their fields", the representation said.
Then, it pointed out that the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) is not being implemented properly. "While large number of tribals in the district do have NREGA job cards, they are unable to get any employment. The result is that, large number of them have to migrate to other towns and cities in search of jobs. This has its adverse impact on children's education. According to our estimate, every year 70 per cent of the tribals migrate out", the representation said.
The representation also refers to failure to implement the right to education law in Chhotaudepur, lack of basic facilities like electricity and drinking water water in individual households, refusal to give tribals the housing subsidy in order to build their own houses, refusal of the police to take complaints from the tribals, refusal to make list many tribals in the below poverty list (BPL), lack of fair price shops, and so on. Calling all this "violation of the basic civil rights", the representation demanded fast alleviation of the problems.

Comments

TRENDING

#MeToo moment in Hyderabad Urdu varsity? Two girl students seek action against authorities

Counterview Desk
Has the #MeToo movement reached Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MAANU)? It would seem so if a recent letter by newly-appointed chancellor Firoz Bakht Ahmed to MAANU vice-chancellor Dr Aslam Parvaiz is any indication. Seeking reinstatement of two girl victims of “sexual harassment and humiliation”, the letter specifically names head of the department of the Media Centre for Journalism, suspecting, the problem could be much deeper.
Text of the letter: It is a matter of utmost perturbation for me to receive the two representations from the girls studying in the MCJ (Media Center for Journalism) regarding their sexual and subsequently, mental and social harassment at the hands of Prof Ehtesham Ahmad Khan, the HOD, MCJ.
We do not know, how many girls have been exploited by him and preferred to be silent for saving their family’s honour; however, there are two brave girls who stood to the depraved advances and misuse by Prof Ehtesham and came up with written complai…

"Ineligible" funding of Sardar Statue in Gujarat: CAG tells Central PSUs, it's not a heritage CSR activity

By Our Representative
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, in its recent report on Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSE), has qualified public sector undertakings’ (PSUs') funding the 182-metre world’s highest Sardar Statue, currently being constructed in the Narmada river downstream of the Sardar Sarovar dam as an “ineligible” corporate social responsibility (CSR) activity.

"Highly irregular" for PSUs to fund Sardar Statue under Corporate Social Responsibility

Counterview Desk
In a letter to I Srinivas, secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India, former secretary (economic affairs), Ministry of Finance, EAS Sarma, has raised questions on the funding of the Sardar Patel statue in South Gujarat by Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSUs) relying on the Comptroller and Auditor General report (No 18/2018).

Murder of Tamil Nadu teenage Dalit girl: "Stoic silence" despite #MeToo movement

Counterview Desk
Brinelle D'souza, who is with the Centre for Health and Mental Health, School of Social Work, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, has prepared a strong statement to protest the brutal murder of 13-year-old Rajalakshmi. "Other than a few media reports, this gruesome killing has not caught national attention despite a very vibrant #MeToo campaign currently underway", regrets D'souza.

29th "NRC-related" suicide in Assam, as Nirod Baran Das takes his life by hanging on a fan

By Our Representative
Reporting 29th case of National Register of Citizens (NRC)-driven suicide in Assam, one of India’s human rights campaign sites has said that, on October 20, tragedy struck Kharupetia town in Darrang district of Assam, when a retired school teacher and advocate Nirod Baran Das “took his life by hanging himself to a fan in his home.” The report adds, “The NRC process has so far claimed over two dozen such lives in the past four months alone.”

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Preventing childhood deaths: India performs worse than Bangladesh, "equals" Pakistan

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released study, “The Pneumonia and Diarrhea Progress Report 2018”, prepared by the International Vaccine Access Centre (IVAC) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has identified India among 15 other countries which are still far off the mark in achieving the targets of the Global Action Plan for the Prevention of Pneumonia and Diarrhea (GAPPD).

Some Hindu bodies in US defending BJP-RSS' divisive, violent activities: Agnivesh

Counterview Desk  Last week, Washington DC saw speakers at a religious freedom roundtable, chaired by the US Ambassador for Religious Freedom, Sam Brownback, express concern over "eroding" space for religious freedom in India. Dr Mike Ghouse, executive director, of the Center for Pluralism in Washington DC, referring to the roundtable, said in an email alert that Indian-Americans have "a moral duty to prevent India from being labeled as a Country of Particular Concern by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF)".

Bank account frozen, raid on Amnesty office: Govt of India "treating" human rights NGOs like criminal enterprises

By Abhirr VP*
Amnesty India’s bank accounts have been frozen by the Enforcement Directorate, effectively stopping its work. Amnesty India is thus the latest target of the government’s assault on civil society in the country. The accounts of Greenpeace India were frozen earlier this month.

60 ex-civil servants seek release of CAG reports on Rafale, demonetisation before 2019 polls

Counterview Desk
As many as 60 retired civil servants have asked President Ram Nath Kovind to expedite the release of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) reports on demonetisation and the Rafale deal. The letter, signed mainly by former Indian Administrative Service, Indian Foreign Service and Indian Police Service officers, regrets that the status of the audit is "unclear”. According to them, “An impression is gaining ground that CAG is deliberately delaying its audit reports on demonetisation and Rafale deal till after the May 2019 elections so as not to embarrass the present government”.